Frequently Asked Marriage License Questions

  • Are same sex marriages legal in PA?
    • Yes, on May 19, 2014 a Federal Judge struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage  making Pennsylvania a state in which such prohibitions have been declared unconstitutional. As with many of those previous rulings, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones cited the constitutional touchstones of due process and equal protection in striking down the prohibition.
  • Can I register my marriage in PA if it takes place in another country or state?
    • NO. Your marriage will never be registered anywhere other than the place (county/state/country) where you applied for your license.
  • Do I need a licensed minister or priest to perform my marriage ceremony?
    • PA law clearly lists those who are recognized to officiate at marriage ceremonies.
      If individuals choose to be married by someone other than those listed as an ordained minister of a regularly established congregation OR a civil official authorized by PA law, the burden of proof regarding legality (or lack thereof) is on the individuals involved should future issues arise that require a determination of the marriage's validity. WE DO NOT DETERMINE WHAT IS OR IS NOT A CHURCH/CONGREGATION.
  • Does PA recognize common-law marriages?
    • NO. PA courts have ruled common-law marriages after September 17, 2003 are invalid for the state of Pennsylvania.
  • How do I get a certified copy of my marriage license?
    • IF you applied for your license in Monroe County, you will receive one certification of your record via mail after we receive the marriage return from your officiant.  Additional certified copies may be obtained in person for $10.00 each or by mail for $10.00. IF you applied for your license in another county, you must contact the county where you applied for your license.
  • How would I Appeal if a couple has been denied a Marriage License?
    • If any couple believes they have been unfairly denied a Marriage License, you have the right to appeal the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas under the Marriage Law, 23 Pa. C.S.A.- 1308
  • In Two Pennsylvania Counties there are Two Contrasting Rulings about Marriages Performed by Person Ordain over the Internet.
    • 1- On September 7, 2008 the Court of Common Pleas of York County rendered an opinion that persons ordained over the internet are not persons who may legally marry individuals in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The case is filed in the office of the Prothonotary of York County to No. 2007-SU-002132-Y08. The opinion should be available from the York County Prothonotary.

      2- December 3, 2008 ruling by Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, a marriage performed by an internet-ordained minister has been declared valid. The case is filed in the office of the Prothonotary of Bucks County to No. 08-1620-29-1.The opinion should be available from the Bucks County Prothonotary.
  • Is there a central registry of marriage in PA?
    • NO. In Pennsylvania, records of marriage licenses are maintained only in the county where you applied for the license. If you applied in Monroe County but were married in another county within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, your records would only be in Monroe County.
  • My child is under 18 and wants to marry. What steps does s/he have to take?
    • Any person between the ages of 16 and 18 may marry with the consent of the CUSTODIAL parent (ID, documentation of legal custody required from the custodial parent). Anyone between the ages of 14 and 16 will need the custodial parent's consent PLUS COURT APPROVAL.
  • We are getting married on a cruise, island, or in another state/country. Where do we get our marriage license?
    • You must get your license in the State or country where the marriage will take place. Check with your travel agent for requirements. Foreign countries usually require Apostilles from the PA Department of State. Information from them can be obtained by calling (717) 787-5280 or by emailing them - PA Department of State.
  • What happens if I do not have a SSN?
    • Provision is made for those who do not have a SSN such as non-citizens. The application is taken and the license is issued. All US citizens are required to produce the SS card.
  • What if I have a SSN, but refuse to provide it?
    • Federal & State statutes do not permit us to take any marriage application without proof of the SSN (i.e., Social Security Card).
  • Where should I obtain my marriage license if I am being married in a different county other than the one I live in?
    • You can apply in any county of the Commonwealth and use the license in any other county of the Commonwealth. Just remember where you applied in order to retrieve records for future needs.
       
  • Why do you need my SSN (social security number) to apply for a marriage license?
    • The 1996 Federal Welfare Reform Act and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Act 98-127 requires the verified Social Security number of an individual (who has one) in order to apply for a marriage license.